Cathedral of St. Joseph holds groundbreaking for early childhood development center

Staff at the current center said the building can accommodate up to 120 young children.

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(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.)  A groundbreaking was held Sunday for a new early childhood education center in St. Joseph. 

The Cathedral of St. Joseph is looking to renovate a building at the corner of 9th and Robidoux St. that sits one block west of the church. Cathedral staff said it will soon be the home of the St. Gianna Early Childhood Education and Development Center.

The building will give the church more space than what is at their current facility. The open floor plan will provide a better and safer environment for children to learn and grow. 

"We needed more space and this was it," Jocelyn Winter, Director Cathedral Childhood Education. "It's all on one level."

The current facility located within the Cathedral is a re-purposed convent according to clergy, with small hallways and rooms that can accommodate up to 80 kids. 

Clergy and staff said the new location can hold up to 120 kids and will feature a playground outside. 

As other schools are dealing with the topic of declining enrolment, those behind this new center said they hope will leave a positive impact on catholic education locally.

"All Catholic schools benefit from having an early childhood center." Father Steve Hansen said. "The utilization of this building is going to be part of the healing of the cathedral hilltop."

Clergy along with staff said having the new early childhood center will benefit not only the diocese but the community at large.

"I’m really in hopes that we’ll be on the upward after this," Winter said. 

The early childhood center is open to children aged six weeks to kindergarten. Staff and clergy at the Cathedral hope to have the new location renovated by February 2020. 

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